Bode Merrill's Quarter Pipe Classic at Brighton Resort
Presented by Salomon. Hosted by Brighton.
words + photos: E-Stone and Austin Lamoreaux
Bode Merrill's Quarter Pipe Classic returned to Brighton this past weekend and gave all in attendance a reminder of what a special snowboard community we have here in Utah. When Pro's like Bode take the time to plan an event like this the results are always something special. Merrill brought together some of the best riders in the world, most of which are also locals at Brighton resort, to shred in a jam format contest judged by their peers on a world class Quarter pipe built by the Brighton Diggers.
The jam format was about as packed as possible. Riders would drop one after another pushing each other to progress as every wave of drops went larger and featured new tricks. By the end of the day the level of tricks going down and the size of the airs reached insane levels. The riders were all just having a blast shredding together enjoying the spring conditions and the amazing set up Brighton and Bode had built.
At the bottom of the QP Milo Sport hosted a snowboard demo where shredders could try out the 2020 line from some of their favorite board brands. Music by our favorite SLC DJ Matty Mo blasted out of the speakers while the smoke of Traeger grills filled the air. Bode's good friend Chef Granger from Traeger Grills cooked over 2000 chicken wings and made about 1500 pork sliders for an excited crowd eager to see some top level snowboarding. As you can tell by the photos, they were not let down. As we made our way around the crowd of people it was filled with many familiar faces—as the snowboarding community of Utah is a pretty tight knit group. That being said, we always opens our arms up to new faces as it grows from year to year. The general vibe of the event was extremely positive and kept hearing things like, "This is just what we needed to have happen at Brighton after such a rad snow season," and, "Damn we need to get everyone together like this more often.”
As the action revved up as it went from Am division to Pro there were some clear standouts on the QP. Once young buck Dylan Okurowski blasted from the left tombstone landing into the tranny of the right tombstone clear on the other side of the QP a new standard for height was set and it was on. Some of the larger airs of the day went to shredders like Nils Mindnich, Pat Moore, Jagger Eaton, Denver Orr, Nik Baden and Garrett Warnick. The largest air that I saw, as well as the kid that was the clear stand out, was Reid Smith. For a rider that spends most of his time in the streets, it was obvious that he spent his formative years as a snowboarder riding tranny. Smith was blasting huge airs and technical tricks, hiking back up as quick as he could all day, probably hitting the set up two times for every other riders one.
Reid was the clear champ to most but with so much rad stuff going down it was easy to start second guessing who was ripping the hardest. Guys like Mike Rav and Pat Moore were lighting up some sick hand plants on the tombstone while Bode and Hans started to pull a foot out and light up some sick one foot tricks. Watching the style Nicolas Muller grace Brighton was something special all on its own.
The ladies were charging as well. Women's progression is hitting new levels and we got a dose of it first hand at the QP. From Naima Antolin's Frontside Inverts to Melissa Riitano's sick McTwists all the women were getting after it. It was sick watching the crew trying new tricks for the first time at that session pushing themselves and having fun with it while they did it. You would have thought the riders were competing for some huge cash purse or some crazy title the way they were attacking this thing. At the end of the day it was more about having fun on an amazing set up with perfect spring conditions— with a group of the most savage riders you could have ever asked for.
On behalf of everyone at the event I would like to give a huge thanks to Bode Merrill for making this happen! We all can't thank you enough and I hope this is something we will see more of in the future. The recent trend of Pro's taking things into their own hands and putting events like this together is one of the best things going in snowboarding right now and I really hope we can just see more and more of it. Events like The Quarter Pipe Classic and of course Methodology by Pat Moore are helping open peoples eyes to how great this is for our sport. Seeing these pro's take the time to bring this all together is very inspiring. I cant wait to see what Bode comes up with next!
Brought to you by Salomon, Brighton, Crab Grab, Traeger, Arcade, Anon, Milo Sport, and DJ Matty Mo.
1. Reid Smith
2. Dylan Okurowski
3. Denver Orr
1. Naima Antolin
2. Melissa Riitano
3. Nirvana Ortanez
Special Trick Awards from Bode:
Dylan Okurowski- Coast to Coast Jumping from tombstone to tombstone
Naima Antolin- FS Invert
Chris Grenier-Same trick all day
Flaska- For being Flaska
1. Parker Giblin
2. Jeff Collier
1. Bethany Waller
3. Kelsey Boyer
1. Henry Hawkins
2. Terje LaMont
3. Bennet Giblin
1. Channias Curci
2. Gwynnie Park